London’s urban food scene explodes across the capital!

Urban Food Fortnight 14-29 September 2013

UFF13_Logo_smallThis September, London will feast on the fabulous local produce being grown, produced and cooked on its doorstep. The second Urban Food Fortnight will begin on Saturday 14th September, at a host of different venues and settings across London with exciting events highlighting the amazing food being grown, produced and eaten in London.

Special ultra-local menus from some of London’s top restaurants, pop -up events, supper clubs in growing spaces and allotments, botanical cocktail nights, foraging walks and urban cookery classes are just a few of the planned activities.

Melissa Hayles of the Ethical Eats restaurant network, which is promoting Urban Food Fortnight, said, “London’s urban food scene has exploded in the last few years with restaurants, pubs and streetfood traders wanting to use produce that’s as local and super fresh as can be. This fortnight of events celebrates all the amazing food growers and producers our city has to offer”

Eloise Dey of the Capital Growth campaign, which promotes food growing in London, said 'Urban Food Fortnight is a great opportunity to celebrate the existing trade of delicious, super-local fruit and veg as well as a chance for new food growers to start selling their produce to local food businesses. This year over 40 of our food-growing spaces are involved doubling the number from last year and generating some much needed additional money for food growing projects in London'.

Over 60 restaurants and growers, plus lots of other urban food businesses and organisations, are already signed up to take part.

The initiative is also being supported by the London Food Board and the Big Lottery’s Local Food Fund. London’s pop-up events directory Grub Club and Slow Food London are official partners.

Some of the urban food events and activities taking place are listed below. Diners can find a full list of who is doing what, plus a map of where they are at

One off events during the week include:

· Edible Open Gardens Day on 21 September more than 100 of the UK’s community food-growing gardens, including more than 50 in London, will be throwing open their gates to the public, in the largest open event of food-growing spaces ever seen in the UK.

· An evening of seasonal delights awaits at the Global Generation Skip Garden in Kings Cross on Friday 20 September. It will be offering cocktails in corners, surprises in sheds and a banquet in a polytunnel.

· In Battersea, Crayfish Bob will host a series of pop-up dinners celebrating international crayfish cuisine using the invasive crayfish that inhibit London’s waterways.

· On Tuesday 24 September, Hammersmith based gin producer Sipsmith will host a tour of their distillery. Guests will enjoy botanical cocktails and canapés featuring local herbs and produce from Growing Kultur.

· Forty Hall Farm, an organic farm, vineyard and orchard nestled on the outskirts of London, will host an Urban Food Feast on Sunday 22 September.

· Urban fish farmers GrowUp will host a ‘Big Fish Cook-off’ in their up-cycled shipping container near London Bridge, Saturday 21 September. A workshop for people to make their own take-home hydroponic salad grower is also in the planning.

· The Duke of Cambridge organic pub will host a Harvest Festival to celebrate local urban growers. It will take place on Saturday 21 September and incorporate supplier talks, a cooking demonstration from Head Chef Benoit Berenger and other ‘hands-on’ activities.

· The KERB street food collective will converge on Maida Hill Place on Saturday 21 September for a new streetfood and urban produce market.

· Midnight Apothecary at the Brunel Museum Gardens will be serving cocktails laced with fruit and herbs from their potager garden.

· Head to Cultivate London’s Brentford Lock site on Saturday 21 September for their open day with a plant sale, streetfood, urban bar and listen to some live music

· Regents Park Allotments will be hosting afternoon tea and cocktails on 15 September

· The Table Café is hosting a ‘Pop up pickle!’ for urban growers to process their surplus into chutneys and pesto.

· On Thursday 19 September Platterform and The Bream Team will run a joint event featuring small plates and cocktails incorporating ethically sourced and local ingredients.

· On Friday 27 September, Normanloves will run an ‘Urban Harvest Festival’ supper club in their Walthamstow garden.

· Sutra Kitchen, central London’s all vegetarian and vegan cooking school, will run an Urban Food cookery classes.

· St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots garden project will host ‘Dinner in Our Backyard’..

· On Sunday 22 September Westow Park in Upper Norwood will celebrate the fruits of an urban autumn with a Harvest Festival.

· Sutton Community Farm is teaming up with Michelin-chef Malcolm John to hold a pop-up ‘less than 50’ dinner at Brasserie Vacherin in Sutton.

· Linkway Plantastic Prescription Garden is throwing a Big Dig Harvest Festival in Barking and Dagenham on Saturday 21 September.

· OrganicLea are hosting a two-day sustainable bee-keeping course at their nursery site on 21-22 September.

· inmidtown is teaming-up with Farm Collective to host an evening event serving up salad, herbs and honey from their roof-top sites in Bloomsbury and Holborn.

Some of the restaurants, cafés, bars, pubs and street food vendors taking park in Urban Food Fortnight include:

Café Spice Namaste, The Grainstore, Clerkenwell Kitchen, The Duke of Cambridge, Table Café , Moshi Moshi, The Island Grill at the Lancaster Hotel, Sheebeen bar, L'Eau a la Bouche , Lumen Café, Friend’s House Café, Hornbeam Café, 46b Espresso Hut , Eden Catering, Strawbale café at Freightliners Farm, Lardo Pizzeria, Castle Climbing Centre café, Gallery café at St Margaret’s House, The Russet, The Three Stags, Quinto/Quarto and Moka East Café.

Participating Producers Include:

· MaMa V's Seasoning: This Newham based mother and daughter partnership produce green seasoning and sauces. They will be using urban honey in a specially-created Honey and Hot Pepper dipping sauce for Urban Food Fortnight.

· London Glider Cider: producers of cider from the orchards of suburbia.

· Wildes Cheese: a micro-dairy based in Haringey making delicious, handmade, artisan cheese.

· The Aquaponicist: a social enterprise who have set up a research facility to investigate and test aquaponic systems with invasive fresh water crustaceans and various plant types.

· England Preserves: who make jams with the traditional kitchen in mind, cooking their locally sourced fruit gently, by hand, in Bermondsey.

· Gringa Dairy: an artisan dairy making authentic Mexican cheese in a railway arch in Peckham.

· Florence Brewery: In addition to using local ingredients - including honey from London bees and re-used botanicals from the City of London distillery for his Head in a Hat range, Florence Brewery’s Peter Haydon partners with the Brixton Beer Company to brew ale with community grown hops.

· Hiver Beer: Born out of an admiration for London’s urban beekeepers and a passion for craft beer, urban and rural honey is used to create an all British specialty beer.

· Rubies in the Rubble: Delicious, handmade chutneys and jam, made as much as possible from surplus fruits and vegetables before they’re discarded, to provide employment to those who need it most.

· Dalston Cola Company: Producers of Dalston Cola, Raw Fiyah Ginger Beer, and Real Lemonade - all 100% natural, handmade with fresh ingredients.

· Portobello Brewing: A micro-brewery aiming to be at the heart of the W10 community it calls home. For Urban Food Fortnight they will be producing a special beer using cherries from Coppets Farm in Uxbridge.

Urban Food Fortnight (UFF) is a collaboration between restaurant network Ethical Eats & Capital Growth, London’s Food Growing Network. The initiative is funded by the Mayor of London and the Big Lottery’s Local Food Fund. For more information about Urban Food Fortnight go to Twitter: #urbanfoodfortnight

The London Food Board is a group of independent food policy organisations and experts convened to support the implementation of the Mayor of London’s Food Strategy: Healthy and Sustainable Food for London. The Board is chaired by Rosie Boycott and is supported by the Greater London Authority’s Food Team. For further information see:

Ethical Eats is a network for restaurants and caterers across the capital interested in sustainability. It is part of the London Food Link network, part of the charity Sustain, and is funded by the Big Lottery’s Local Food Fund. Twitter: @ethicaleats

Capital Growth was launched in 2008 to provide practical and financial help to Londoners wanting to set up or expand food growing spaces. The scheme was funded from 2008 – 2012 by the Mayor of London and by the Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food scheme. Capital Growth continues to support its 2,117 members thanks to funding from The Mayor of London, Big Lottery’s Local Food Fund and The City Bridge Trust. The Mayor’s funding will help growing spaces that have potential to be developed as social enterprises selling their produce to local people. Anyone interested in finding out more about how to get involved in food growing should visit the Capital Growth website at

These two projects are part of Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming. Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, enrich society and culture and promote equity. Sustain represents around 100 national public interest organisations working at international, national, regional and local level.

Source: Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming

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